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Child Abuse Negl. 1989;13(3):417-26.

Physical and sexual abuse in runaway youths.

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George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130.


This paper examines the extent of physical and sexual abuse among runaway youths and the association of that abuse with behavior, mental health, life events, and parental mental health. Of 291 youths who sought shelter at homes for runaway youths, almost half (141) reported a history of physical or sexual abuse. The results emphasize the need that these abused youths and their parents have for mental health services: One in five of the nonabused youths and one in three of the abused youths endorsed parental descriptions reflective of antisocial personality and/or drug problems, and runaways who were abused had a mean level of behavior problems in the clinically significant area. Multivariate analyses demonstrate that the simple existence of physical or sexual abuse impacts on self-esteem and overall behavior problems regardless of other family problems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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